ALPHARETTA, GA. – You, or your parents, have spent a lot of money to straighten your teeth. They have become an investment in your future oral health as well as the key to a brighter, straighter smile. For this reason, it is important to protect and take care of them year-round. This even means during the candy season that begins in early fall when those tempting orange, white, and yellow candies begin to make their appearance on grocery store shelves.
To protect your braces during those long, candy-filled months between September and January, here are the five worst brace-destroying offenders.
1. Caramels – These chewy candies are most popular in fall as people begin making coating their apples in caramel or using it to hold together their infamous popcorn balls. Unfortunately, it is not a good idea for brace wearers to indulge. It will stick to your braces and may cause damage that requires a visit to your Alpharetta orthodontist.
2. Hard candy – Another popular fall flavor is butterscotch, which usually falls into this category in the form of those golden disks of sugar commonly found in waiting rooms and on office desks. Butterscotch disks and other hard candies, such as jolly ranchers and candy canes, can wreak havoc on braces. Additionally, small pieces of sugar could break off and get stuck in between your braces and teeth, leading to hidden decay.
3. Gum – Bubble gum while wearing braces is never a good idea. It is messy and no one enjoys pulling bits of stringy gum out of their braces. The pleasure of the sweet gum is not worth the cost.
4. Taffy – Chewy like caramels, taffy is a favorite holiday gift for stockings and house guests. This means it might be readily available, but you will need to resist the urge to indulge. Sticky treats like taffy can damage your brackets or wires, necessitating a change in holiday schedules while you have to squeeze in a visit to your Alpharetta dental orthodontics office.
5. Lollipops – There is so much temptation in a single lollipop. First, the sweet sugar tastes good but can have a debilitating effect on oral health. Second, even with the best of intentions, the risk of biting into the colorful, hard candy is too great. It is best to avoid them all together.
Not all is lost though. Dr. Nima Hajibaik, an Alpharetta braces specialist, has a list of foods that are safe while you are wearing your traditional or clear braces. “You can protect your braces by enjoying fruit treats like applesauce or smoothies as a safe alternative when your sweet tooth hits. You can also enjoy ice cream without nuts or milkshakes in moderation,” he explains.
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